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Daily Snippet #22: Page 134 / 100 Words

A Lady of Distinction. Regency Etiquette: The Mirror of Graces (1811). Enlarged edition with Additional Period Illustrations. Mendocino: R. L. Shep, 1997. [Reprint edition of The Mirror of the Graces; or The English Lady’s Costume. London: B. Crosby, 1811.]

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ON THE DETAIL OF DRESS:

     “The open-wove clock* and instep, instead of displaying fine proportion, confuse the contour; and may produce an impression of gaiety; but exclude that of beauty, whose rays always strike singly. But if the clock be a coloured or a gold one, as I have sometimes seen, how glaring is the exhibition! how course the association of ideas it produces in the fancy! Instead of a woman of refined manners and polished habits, your imagination reverts to the gross and repelling females of Portsmouth-point, or Plymouth-dock; or at least to the hired opera-dancer, whose business it is to make her foot….”

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[Clock = a woven or embroidered ornament on the side of a sock or stocking, going up from the ankle].

Visit the All Things Georgian blog for all the info you could ever need on clocked stockings: https://georgianera.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/18th-century-stockings-how-shocking/

And where you will find this print from the Lewis Walpole Library where you can see the embroidered stockings: “Les Merveilleuses,” by Carle Vernet

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To read the full text of the original 1811 edition, click here at the University of Wisconsin’s DIGITAL LIBRARY FOR THE DECORATIVE ARTS AND MATERIAL CULTURE (fabulous place!): http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/DLDecArts/DLDecArts-idx?id=DLDecArts.MirrorGraces

If you are in need of your own clocked stockings (but please, no GOLD), you can find them online at the Regency Marketplace:

or a colorful collection at Etsy:

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